It’s not every night I would go out at half ten to go to bed. I’ve always preferred being an early starter and a late finisher. But tonight was different. I’d got a bed booked for an event up Cheapside at The Edge that would transport me into a world of long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. I knew whatever it was, it was going to be grand. An Outer Sight all-nighter, still happily revolving around my brain after the night before and the DJ, Grandmaster Gareth from Misty’s Big Adventure, who has famously impeccable taste. I started my journey, going down the hill onto Smallbrook Queensway, rucksack on my back with nightclothes and toothbrush, the live disc of Floyd’s Ummagumma on my ipod for atmosphere. I decided against any fast food on the way down; I was going to be sharing a room with strangers, and I didn’t want anything repeating on me, lest I find myself ostracised in the morning. I decided that I would make do with whatever was in front of me at the event.
On Smallbrook Queensway, I passed those on their way to nights out, and those staggering back. The St Patrick’s Day celebrations had gone well. Some proudly were sporting Guinness Hats at skewed angles, bellies full of the four or five pints you need to drink in order to claim this prize. Men braving the drizzle in tight fitting shirts, women in finery, short skirts and shiny legs. The Selfridges building was bathed in a green colour, and must have acted as a beacon for drink-sodden travellers navigating their way through the beautiful tangled streets of Digbeth, having been into the Anchor, The White Swan, The Kerry Man, and all the time trying narrowly to avoid The Police Station, as they didn’t want to end up there. Boy racers skilfully pulled three point turns on the roads opposite the markets, mischeivious grins on their faces as they zoomed off into the night. The good times everybody seemed to be having, despite their dilated pupils and staggering frames.
I’d been in the Anchor earlier, and had enjoyed at least ten Pogues songs on the jukebox. The doorman was looking forward to finishing, he hadn’t had to boot anyone out, and there had been no trouble at all. The music had finished, and there were no punters on the pavements. Again, The White Swan looked comfortable and stunning in the streetlight, but I decided against nipping in for a quick whisky before bedtime. I decided to turn into Rea St as it would be quicker up the hill to get to Cheapside, the graffiti designs all around acting as talismans to my destination. Thankfully the dogs outside the tyre yard had been put to bed, but I was in my own world anyway at this point. It’s easy to find the Edge these days. It’s opposite what used to be the old Cleary’s, now a flattened piece of scrubland. Looking for the warehouse that would be my bed for the night. Easy if you know how. Info at Friction Arts on the banner above the door. I was there.